Monday, June 30, 2008

Scrapbooking from the Inside Out

So much to tell, so much to tell; and yet I have not. I know that I often say, I've been CRAZY busy, and occasionally offer up what it is I've been busy at; yet for months now, I've had things in the works, and kept waiting and waiting to have more details to share before I filled you in. Trust me when I tell you - I have news to share! I've had a brush with actually having a piece of my work published, I've gone camping, yes that's right I said camping, I've joined the board of my kids soccer league, I've become an announcer in training / official for my kids swim team, I now work 40 hours a week instead of 36, I still try to go to the gym 5 times a week (I've now lost 25 lbs total - YAY!) and I've been flattered by the invitation to become the Assistant Design Team Coordinator for my friend Rachel's scrapbooking kit club extraordinaire "Scrapbooking from the Inside Out" which has it's official launch on July 1, 2008. Whew... That busy enough for you? Throw in laundry, dentist's appointments (the kids - not mine, THANK GOD) household chores, meal preparation, swim lessons, diving lessons, weekly swim meets, organizing monthly crops etc, etc, and is it any wonder my blogs have been so few and far between lately?

OK, so I DO NOT want to tell you ALL the details of ALL of the above at once. But I do promise that I will be back soon, with the article that coulda, shoulda, woulda been published - sob, sob, No, that's not S.O.B (though it should be; ) it's sob, sob, as in I'm VERY sad - and I am. I promise, I will offer up a blog on my very first camping trip, once I collect all of my thoughts on it; and as my 41st b'day is now approaching, I've also been anxious to write about my observations of my 40th year. BUT for today, it's all about "Scrapbooking from the Inside Out."

So, let me tell you about my friend Rachel. Rachel is a woman with courage. A woman who had a dream and stopped at nothing to make it a reality. A woman who has embraced scrapbooking not only as an art form but as a therapeutic outlet; and in doing so, published scrapbook artist Rachel Kaufman has started her own business called "Scrapbooking from the Inside Out." This club is going to be different from other kit clubs in as much as each month the kit will be focusing on an emotion "using color, design, and journaling to create pages and projects that explore your inner world." You will receive printed papers, coordinating cardstock, chipboard, paint, various kinds of stickers and ribbons, and ink, maybe a rubber stamp, and I could go on and on, but as each kit won't have the same contents each month; I think you get the idea. You get a TON of supplies and a fresh and exciting approach. For those of you who have never scrapbooked before, this might be a FABULOUS way to get started and give it a try.

I am so proud of Rachel and it has been truly inspiring to watch her pour her heart and soul into developing an online community as well as kits that will give the scrapbooker a variety of mediums to work with while exploring their inner self.
Although I personally have not allowed myself the time to scrapbook about JUST ME thus far- I am hoping to do so in the future. I am welcoming the opportunity to explore who I am as a person and not just as a mom, which usually happens in my scrapbooking. Don't get me wrong, being a mom is SO much of who I am but we all know that there is more to each of us; and in being a mom, I think it would be awesome for my kids to be able to look back and learn about me from my own perspective. It might also give them a little insight into who they are and how they have come to be that way - I know that sounds kinda serious coming from me; sorry if I've disappointed - but I just have to talk about why this venture is so exciting - Say it with me "It's all for the GREATER GOOD!!"

Now, not only will you be able to purchase the kits on Rachel's website; it will also feature a gallery, a message board and it will be supported not only by Rachel (and occasionally myself) but by the 3 brilliant designers that we have chosen for the first 6 months of this venture. I think you'll be wowed by the artistry and techniques of, Amanda Berens -
Technique Speak, Nancy Doren - My Paperview and Bjay Jaminal - Pigmentations. If you are a scrapbooker, I highly recommend that you visit as well as each of these fabulous designer's blogs.

Please join us at some time on July 1st to celebrate with Rachel and contemplate Scrapbooking from the Inside Out. There will be challenges, games and an opportunity to scraplift from the best of em. Congratulations Rachel; I wish you ALL the success I the world. Think about it, you are already SO much better off just by having this experience thus far.
Best of luck!!

Till next time...
Queen of Everything

Monday, June 2, 2008

And Here We Go Again...

My father's name was Richard Howell. Many called him Richie - some called him Dick; (The some were right.) I grew up in a HUGE condo development on Heritage Drive, in New City, New York which was a suburb about 1 hour north of NYC. Now Richie Howell, (that's how Luis and I refer to my departed father - we call him Richie Howell;) was a real character (I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in my family;) and he fancied himself, quite the politician. SO, Richie Howell became the President of "the Association." Now as an adult, I assume that it was the equivalent of a homeowners association; BUT this was SERIOUS business. Richie Howell was President FOREVER. He was like the FDR of Heritage Drive, minus the bucked tooth wife and wheel chair. No one dare run against Richie Howell for President, he was just a fixture. He hired the lifeguards, he interviewed the local political candidates and "suggested" to our residents who to vote for. He came up with the idea to sell permits to ice cream men that wanted to come into our community (BUT that definitely will be a story for another time;) and basically he was just IN CHARGE.

Now, there is an older gentleman who lives in my neighborhood; and although Luis is NOT often funny, one day he referred to this guy as Richie Howell and I just laughed myself CRAZY. I thought this was HYSTERICAL. You know, he is the guy who is always going door to door with a petition for something or letting people know about this and that, and believe it or not, he's not even on "The Association." I guess he's just a good citizen. I mean I KNOW he goes to the meetings; and he may have held an office at some point, but I don't believe he currently does. AND, I have to say this while I'm talking about him. 2 Thanksgivings ago, Luis decided to go out in the evening for a little run (Yes people who know Luis; he CAN run.) Anyway, when he came back he told me that he got sick while he was out running and threw up on 2 people's lawns - OH dear god; you guessed it; one of them was Richie Howell's. LOL We were convinced that he'd have had video cameras set up; or that he was going to go knocking door to door saying "Neighbors, I just want you to know that there is someone out there going around and throwing up on people's lawns; so beware." Ahh, too funny. I LOVE that story.

Let's round the curve - OK so tonight when I got home from Lyndzi's swimming lesson, I saw Richie Howell going up to someones door with what looked like a clip board;and as I pulled into my driveway there was a woman and girl at my next door neighbors. The woman approached my garage and started talking before I'd even gotten out. I asked her to repeat herself because I couldn't hear her (I was still IN the garage) and she told me that she was going to have a blood drive at her house on Saturday and she was trying to sign people up top give blood.
OK; well you all should know by now that I am Queen of Fearing needles. I mean this is me we're talking about. Girl who had 3 kids with no epidurals and no drugs - and why did I do that? NO, not because I'm some crunchy, Granola girl, I mean I DO have several good reasons; (if you ever want to know them; just ask me;) BUT #1 at the top of my list is FEAR OF NEEDLES. OK, so I decide to be honest and I say "I'm sorry but I have a terrible fear of needles; I just can't." And with this Mrs. Howell (well I'm assuming it was Mrs. Howell) Rolled her eyes at me and turned down her nose. Say it with me "Oh no she didn't!!" Well yes friends - SHE DID!! OK, well, you know me, this was not going to be left unaddressed. I got my back up and in a civilized voice I said "Excuse me ma'am, but you are going around trying to get people to volunteer, and there are people who for whatever reasons are going to say no and you're going to roll your eyes at them - How rude." And then she retorted "Well, you'd better hope that your children don't ever have to go to the hospital and need blood when there are people like you out there who won't help them." OH BOY! Let's just say I had a few choice words for her and they weren't Merry Christmas. I honestly couldn't believe it; I mean like #1. I don't even know this woman's real name and I'm supposed to give her a personal reason that she might accept so that I don't have to give blood at her blood drive - and I mean what kind of loons, just decide to have a blood drive at their house on any given Saturday? I mean what if I was HIV positive, or had some kind of disease (God forbid) that would prevent me from giving blood; should I have had to explain this to Mrs. Howell, just because she felt like being a good Samaritan - sheesh!! I'm sure that some of you may be disappointed in me; because I wasn't going to give the blood; and God help me, I sure hope there doesn't come a day that me or my family or friends need blood; but hey, I do

a lot of other things and give in a lot of other ways; and hopefully that will buy me a free pass in the blood department but I DON'T have to explain or justify that to Mrs. Howell - only to you.

Why does this never fail? I always seem to get myself into these messes. Can you say "You have a Big mouth your highness; or you need some anger management your majesty, or maybe just - you should have said you weren't going to be home on Saturday you moron."
I'm sure Mrs. Howell didn't leave her house thinking that she was going to alienate her neighbors by trying to do a good deed; but I tell you I feel like over feeding my husband and pointing him in the direction of her house - Feel like taking a run Luis?? Can you tell I'm still annoyed?
Till next time...